"People Are Afraid" - 300,000 New Yorkers Flee City Due To COVID-19

Due to the virus pandemic, social unrest, and flare-up of violent crime, there's been a notable tick up in outbound migration trends from New York City. 

From March to October, the NYPost is reporting at least 300,000 New Yorkers fled the metro area. The data was derived from USPS, showing about 295,000 change of address requests from Mar. 1 through Oct. 31. 

A bulk of the exodus was in the first several months of the pandemic. From March to July, there was nearly 245,000 change of address requests to areas outside the city. This was more than double the 101,000 recorded during the same period in 2019. 

Michael Hendrix, director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute, told NYPost he wasn't shocked by the outflow data. 

"I think people are afraid," Hendrix said. "They're afraid of catching a deadly virus and they're afraid of crime and other quality of life concerns. One thing we also hear is about trash and cleanliness of the city."

Kathryn Wylde, head of the Partnership for New York City, said the "biggest reason for people leaving the city is uncertainty about when the pandemic will be over and how quickly the New York economy will recover." 

"More than half a million city residents who were employed in the retail, restaurant, services sectors have lost their jobs and cannot afford city rents. The late decision on re-opening public and private schools forced many families to relocate so they could make enrollment deadlines in districts where they were living during the pandemic," Wylde said. 

We recently pointed out New York City's economic recovery could take two years longer than the rest of the country, putting the recovery timeline around 2025. 

Readers may recall the exodus from cities is nationwide: 

With much of America's GDP concentrated in metro areas - nevertheless, cities ran by Democrats - this could be problematic for anyone hoping for a "V-shaped" recovery because a surge in virus cases across the country has forced some cities and states to reimpose strict social-distancing measures.